Monday, 5 November 2012

The butterflies of Bannerghatta

These days Bangalore has been receiving negative publicity, thanks to the inability of the civic authorities in sorting out the garbage mess. The perceived rise in the crime chart has also given the city an image that it could well do without.
Many of my friend and colleagues have poked fun at Bangalore, saying that there is a scam every day in Bangalore and that all the politicians belong to the same feather. No matter who comes, development takes a back seat, they argued.
I chose to defend my City. There is development and it has been happening whether one party is in power or not. Bangalore, I said, has its own unique character and image.
My friends asked me to give one example of people friendly development in the last few years. When I said look at the Metro, they laughed and said only when the entire project is completed will real development and change on the traffic scenario will be seen. Till then, the Metro only covers a small distance, they sneered.
Another friend tried to come to my aid and suggested that I could tell them of a project that at least helped give a new image of the City. But, do not give the example of the International Airport, he urged. Give us an example of a development work that is not there any where in India, he said. Even as I was desperately trying to give an example, my wife said I could tell my friends the story of Bangalore’s Butterfly Park.
I visited the Butterfly Park and collected information about it, so that I could counter my friend’s arguments about stalled or delayed developmental works in Bangalore.
The drive from Jayanagar 4th Block where I stay to the Butterfly Park took more than an hour as the Bannerghatta Road was full of traffic.
The Butterfly Park was inaugurated on November 25, 2006 by the then Union Minister for Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal. It is located within the Bannerghatta Biological Park. It is India’s first butterfly park.
Set up at a cost of Rs. 5 crores, it a collaborative venture of the State and Central Governments, Zoo Authority of Karnataka, University of Agriculture Sciences and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE).
The park was chosen to be set up on 7.5 acres in Bannerghatta Park area as this was deemed to be the most suitable location due to its prevailing vegetation.
The park comprises a butterfly conservatory, museum and an audio-visual room. The conservatory, which is one of the best of its kind, supports over 20 species of butterflies. It has a polycarbonate roof and is a 10,000 sq.ft. circular enclosure.
The setting in the conservatory is tropical. This is because butterflies need high temperatures to be able to fly and breed. The climate within the conservatory is humid, with an artificial waterfall and several species of  plants and shrubs to attract butterflies.
You move out of the conservatory to the second and third closed enclosures. The second enclosure is the museum with attractively displayed exhibits.The pictorial representation of the four stages of lifecycle of a butterfly from the egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa or chrysalis to the adult is eye catching.
Catch up here on some rare to come information on the butterflies. Did you know that butterflies comes in all sizes but they almost have the same shape. The Eastern pygmy blue, Brephidium isophthalma, is the smallest of the butterflies with a wingspan of about 5/8 of an inch. Bird-wing butterflies from New Guinea, with wingspans of up to 12 inches happen to be one of the largest .
The last dome houses a theatre which screens a fascinating feature on butterflies. The documentaries are of 20 duration and they give vital information on the conservation of these insects. The audio –visual show is sure to attract children, students and zoologists.
The park is set up adjacent to the parking area of the Bannerghatta Zoo. It is generally open from 9 a. m., to 5 p.m., from Wednesdays to Mondays. It is closed on Tuesdays. Here is some more information on butterflies.There are 1,500,000 species of insects in the world and 200,000 of them belong to Lepidoptera family. Butterflies belong to the Leidoptera family along with moths. Of the 2 lakhs in this category, 15,000 are butterflies.
Since the Butterfly Park is adjacent to the National Park, I would suggest that you take a trip to the park and  the safari too. Do not forget to visit the Snake and Crocodile sections within the park. 
When I visited the tariff rate board said the entry fee for adults is Rs 20, Children – Rs 10,  Children below 5 years – free
Physically/mentally challenged persons – free.
Please do not take eatable inside and do not touch any plant or shrub. If caught, you can be fined Rs. 500. 
If you need any more information please contact the Executive Director, Bannerghatta Biological Park
Bangalore – 560083
Ph: 080 – 27828300/540, Fax: 080 – 27828400
Email: Website:
Here is some more information on butterflies.
Butterflies are generally day-flying insects. They taste with their feet. They, however, feel with their antanna.  Their life span is from a week to an year, depending on the species. They are brightly coloured and the earliest butterfly fossil dates back to 40 million years. 
Butterfiles can attain speed of upt o 50 kms per hour. They warm up for their flying by sunning themselves for some time  The butterfly lays its eggs on leaves. The eggs are gunned to the leaves with a glue that is so hard that the leaf cannot be separated from the egg.
The origin of the word butterfly can be traced to the English language. It comes from the mediaeval English word Buttorfleoge. The Monarch species of butterflies are known to fly over long distances.
Not all butterflies feed on plants. Some like the Red Admiral prefer rotting fruit and animal dung.

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